So, while I have this downtime, I thought I would babble about some deep, introspective stuff that's been rolling around my mind this week.
You know how I'm not much for the company of women? Well lately, the majority of my friends are women (with the exception of Darragh, who is walking a fine line as he is going to teach me how to make sugar cookies, he tells me I desperately need a Kitchen Aid mixer and he once owned pearls). And these are some very strong, independent, confident, inspirational women. They are making me think and acknowledge things that I otherwise wouldn't consider. And for this, I'd like to give them some props. Props for my homies!
First up, Erin.
Erin is a glaciologist and spends her time either in Alaska, Antartica or Portand. She simply amazes me. I've know Erin for seven years; she's part of the gang. Or, what used to be our gang. The gang has imploded recently, and I am partly responsible for that (hence, the pretty pink pills). Therefore, I was extremely surprised she contacted me when she was in town last week. I thought she had no idea what was going on with the gang, because if she did, she sure as hell wouldn't want to see me.
But she knew. She'd seen Darragh last month. She knew, and she still wanted to see me. There's Erin's first prop.
I told her my story and we got all of that out of the way, then we sat on my couch for three hours and pondered growing up and the suckiness of it all. And she said something that literally slapped me across the face, in a good way.
We were talking about our Christ year. 33. Your Christ year is your pivotal year. Big stuff happens at 33. Erin said she was 33 when she was working on her thesis, getting ready to defend. And she was freakin' out. Someone told her to drop her advisor. Her advisor was like a parent - coaching her through the process, helping focus, teaching her the system. But just like a parent, there comes a point when you have to do it on your own. So she dropped her advisor and went about writing her thesis on her own. And she did great. She got her PhD and we celebrated like lunatics afterwards (there was bondage by toilet paper and an ice contraption that you do shots from. Good times). She said she hit a point where she needed to step out and be independent. And as soon as she did that, she just excelled.
When she said "step out and be independent", I thought of myself, breaking up with Steve. How much more freakin' independent can you get? Leaving a six year relationship and your home? Packing a bag, walking out the door and calling a friend to ask if you can sleep on their couch indefinately? That is some scary shit. There is no net. There is no "just kidding". It was done. And I didn't know what the hell I was going to do. I couldn't think past the current day, let alone into the next week or month. I was making it up as I went along.
And I kept going. I didn't freeze up. I didn't run back to Steve. I kept going. I did what I had to do, even though I couldn't eat and I cried most of the time. I had to keep going. I think that's independent.
Can you believe I never saw that? I never equated "independent" with "breaking up". Until I was talking with Erin.
And then we talked about relationships and the feeling that you need something from the other person. It's like you're reaching out your hands and grasping for them. You need something from them to complete some aspect of yourself. That's a problem. But once you find yourself and accept yourself and feel like you're pretty whole, you can be in a relationship with someone without needing something from them to complete something within you.
I think I was needy with Steve. I needed him to marry me. I needed him to be my partner, and it was very clear for a very long time that he wasn't into that. It's not what he wanted. He loved me. He wanted to be with me. But he couldn't provided what I needed.
Looking back now, I shouldn't have "needed" that. Wanting is fine. Needing is problematic. Just like I tell my parents "I don't NEED a man. I'm very self sufficient (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). But I WANT a man. I WANT a partner. I can do without just fine. But I WANT it." I'm seeing the difference now.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'm whole. Who the hell is really whole these days? If you're whole, email me. I'd like to pick your brain and see what that's like. But I'm sure as hell not that needy 20-something year old I used to be. I don't need another person to complete me. Only I can do that. Eventually.
But it would be fun to have someone with which to enjoy my completeness, right?
Oy. Now it's late, so I'll have to give props to the other gals some other time. Stay tuned.